Darren Till thinks another championship opportunity is in the near future.
The UFC middleweight contender wants to fight for the title if victorious at UFC on ESPN 14.
Till takes on former champ Robert Whittaker in the headlining act of the card.
“If I beat Robert Whittaker on Saturday night, the only way to go is to the title,” Till told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Tuesday at UFC on ESPN 14 media day. “A lot of people say, ‘Well, he’s only had two fights,’ but look at my two fights. This is why for every young fighter out there, or every fighter in the UFC, you shouldn’t turn down fights. You have to take these big risks because they’ll pay off.”
“I didn’t call for a title shot after I beat Stephen Thompson in Liverpool because I didn’t quite feel like I deserved it. But if I beat Robert Whittaker on Saturday, which is a big ask and a big mountain to climb, the only fight for me is (Israel) Adesanya, but him and (Paulo) Costa are scheduled to fight. The only fight for me is a title fight.”
“I beat Whittaker on Saturday and the only name I want to hear come out of people’s mouths is Adesanya. That’s all I want to hear.”
Reigning champ Adesanya has his second title defense booked, as he takes on Brazil’s Costa at UFC 253 on Sept. 19.
Till plans to stay ready, as well, because he has a feeling Adesanya vs. Costa might not even come to fruition.
“The biggest fight it seems, and the fight that everyone wants to see after this fight if I win against Whittaker, is Adesanya,” Till said. “I’ve said I think Adesanya-Costa is a 50-50. I’m slightly leaning towards Adesanya because I think technical ability-wise he’s got a little bit more. But the reason why I say it’s 50-50 it’s because it’s a dog fight — technical vs. brute strength.”
“Costa can do the five rounds. He’s got the hands to do it, he can take a punch, so for me its 50-50. The fight has been built so much between me and Adesanya that’s why I say that, but I could be wrong. … Until I see both guys on the scale, I’m not believing that fight is happening in September. I’m going to stay ready for September. I think there’s going to be a pull out.”